From Jerome to Allie and Lulu, November 24, 1862

Dublin Core


From Jerome to Allie and Lulu, November 24, 1862


Peirce, Jerome
Allie and Lulu
Fredericksburg, VA.


From Jerome to Allie and Lulu


Jerome Peirce


Jerome Peirce Collection, National Park Service


HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington




NPS, Civil War Study Group, Donald Pfanz (Transcriber)


For educational purposes with no commercial use. Courtesy of National Park Service, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania NMP, FRSP 16095-16102 (FRSP-00904).


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Letter #39


Fredericksburg, VA.

Text Item Type Metadata


Fredericksburg 24th Nov 1862
My ever dear Wife & Little one,
Sitting here in the warm sunshine, tho’ the air is Novemberish, my thoughts seek the page, and I commence something. No news, for we are still inactive a short distance from the City with nothing but rumors of camp to stir us. waiting, waiting for something, which only the head ones understand.
We are having fine Nov weather, the mud from the late rains quite dry and the Camp Comfortable.
It is P.M. J.H. is rea[d]ing Oct no[.] of the Atlantic. I have just laid down the Nov No of the same, which I thank you for.
(I am supposing you will receive a letter by friend Peppey of “Mishawum[?]” memory, and a little box for Lulu, sometime.)
No mail yet[.] am hoping for one before I close this for desire so much to hear from you all and love to think of you all at the old home enjoying the fruits and plenty of Autumn with our darling Lulu running about the large spaces, entries &c. with loving hands to guide her in all that loving and right. And then Thanksgiving Cometh!
Our Chaplain spoke entirely upon that subject on Sabbath day. Read the Gov’s Proclamation with word special to the army, a goodly word too, and one appreciated it.
And how many would gladly be at the circle his year, which cannot, and perchance will not again forever, but all’s for the best if such be our fate.
As I grow older, I [?] more and more upon the festival days of home—Christmas and Thanksgiving[.]
Have been resting up for several days, (Since last Wednesday) and no indications of moving. So I am as well as ever.
Have not felt like roving about so cannot tell you “incidents.” We get rations[,] fix our arms &c.[,] answer roll Call &c.[,] and read a little, have some distance for wood and water, and this keeps us pretty busy. A pleasant Country. Fredericks’g lies in a valley, near the river, land elevated about. Our Co went on picket, one day. I did not go, as my position on the Color guard excuses me. They have long Confabs with Rebel pickets. some are gentlemanly, others low and insulting—brag a good deal.
The fine weather is passing and I hope something will be done to fo[r]ward matters. They are preparing to cross the bridge, or rather are building the bridge and I presume we shall be ordered over the river ere long and it is doubted whether they will make a fight here.
We are so full of rumors and silly questions about which none but the officers in Command know, a thing that I think little of it, but wait, and dwell upon other things, try to be patient, and hope for a better future, and at times, hardly remember that I am a soldier, but only away for a season, on business, soon to be united with the dear ones at home.
My eyes are rather tired. the camp fires cause them to be sensitive somewhat, and I’ve been reading. Will finish Anon.

Tues A.M. 25th

It is now about 10 Oclk. and I return to you once more. Your letter of the 16nth and a “Fre[e]man” from Mary were recd last eve, as I was chatting over the Camp fire. And how quickly we got up a little blaze that we (J.H. & I for he recd. one from Sarah Fay) might read them. I mentioned that I got no letter from you the mail a day or two before, and Could you feel, as I know you do, what a blank it is to get no letter from you, you would not think the harsh experience of life here was lessening the ties of family affection. Oh no--a few days pause in Camp, where we have little to do, sets the feelings and thoughts in their right sphere, if they ever wander. I cannot tell you and I suppose I have mentioned it many times, how fondly I think of you, and little Lulu, as being nestled down in the dear old spot, and I trust that time, and the future will fully repay for all the kind attention, and care which may be bestowed upon you. I find, that instead of the life here, developing any desire for a stirring out-door life, it rather causes me to cling to the dear quiet hours ago, and hope to once again be by you at the dear old fireside, and when duty is done, if a kind Providence permits, I shall turn and eager[ly] step homeward, where I would gladly pass the remainder of life.
I have mentioned in a former letter the change of Commanders in the army. I think it is all right, and altho’ we are lying here apparently idle, I am fully Confident that there are great movements on foot, for a greater part of the Army that were here a few days since, are quietly moved away to some other point, and it would not be surprising to hear of a dash at any moment which will mean a great deal.
I hesitate to write of what’s going on here, for all anyone knows is only guess work, for a profound quiet and secrecy is actually the case.
Many write home “news” but I have seen enough to know that most all that is written, is only the “Camp Yarns,” and are of no account whatever. We don’t even know the Corps Commander at times. I suppose, Sumner and Hooker are two of the principal, and former is of the 9nth as far as I can find out, and Burnside is everywhere, for he is in his saddle most of the time, with a large body guard, and will Come dashing up as we are marching, and soon, we hear of him miles away.
You spoke of a skirmish. We have seen nothing only the firing at the time we stopped at “White Sulphur Springs.” a few shots were fired at some rebs who tried to destroy our provision train, but we had no hand in it, and an action looks today as far off as ever. It is all secret and mysterious. You can ask questions, but answers are to to [sic] be looked for, not heard. I was quite interested in your ride to Sewell[?], your bonnet &c. Should think it might be quite pretty, quite military certainly, and I hope you both will have health to enjoy it. Also that you have written the Johnson’s at O. I desire you will remember them, and remember me to the friends always, for I shall think of many faces, and incidents, of the old place with great pleasure.

Of our Camp here, the tents are unusually crowded, and it is not so cheerful as at some places, and this has much to do with one’s feelings. We have a floor of boughs of Cedar. the rain and wind causes it to look rough and uninviting immediately about the tents, but outside we can have fine views off, and warm fires are abundant.
The weather is Cool, and I noticed this morning a thick Coat of ice, but snow we haven’t seen but once, at “Carter’s Creek” or as I Called it, “Near Warrenton”, so that we Sleep Comfortable, and rations are aplenty. There are those who write home doleful letters, and very many who are not in good spirits, but they are of a class of fault-finders anywhere, for they did not come out with the right spirit, but the thoughtful[,] sober, men of the Reg are generally cheerful, and hopeful, desire an honorable close as soon as possible, but are desirous too, of an honorable settlement and one that will “stay put.”
By the way[,] I read a letter in the “Republican” of “Dann[?] Browne.” Some of it was true, but most of it, as far as the 36th is Concerned, is not true. Only on one occasion have we been short of provisions (at Carters Creek) but with that exception I and all of us that are willing to use simple, healthy food have had abundance, and the bread of late has been excellent, but those who desire pies, Cakes, sweetmeats, &c &c miss them, or pay large prices for them. so much, is strictly true, I mention, for perchance you will see, some of these letters complaining ones, in the papers.
The medical department is bad enough, but they say is improving. I trust I shall never have experience--have never been but once, and that you heard of.
Our Col. has not been promoted as I know of. some talk was in Camp once that he would be, but I minded nothing about. He is a fine looking driving man, rather ambitious I should think, says little to his men, unless they approach him on business, and then is gentlemanly and to the point, exacting on parade, or duty, rather impatient, and wordy at times, but on the whole, as good as they’ll average. Don’t think he is a particularly Religious man, on the whole. as Capt Says, rather a lack of the moral element, than otherwise.
Such is, I believe, about a fair estimate of Col B.
Think he would lead us in Battle, finely, but to love him, I could not with present knowledge.
Our Capt S. wears well, but afraid to soil his hands. Is a Christian man, I believe a disciple somewhat of Theo Parker[.] Was a long while in Rev A. B. Mayo[‘s] Society in Albany N.Y., and we have had some pleasant chats. Was Supt of the S. School there.
I spend many of my leisure moments in Co B. and Alonzo R. also with the Worcester Co. C., where I find Congenial Company[.] Lieut. Morse of W. knows Capt. Joslyn well. was a Lieut. over him in the three months’ men. Speaks of him highly.
J.H. is getting dinner, and I must rest awhile. =
Later – It is growing towards night. Have been washing, and my three pieces, wollen [sic] shirt, draw[er]s & pair of socks hand [sic: hang] on the pole, in front of me. Don’t love washing day any better—have to bring and heat water, &c[.]
I believe I have mentioned in a former letter of hearing from Frank. They were well a few days ago.
I have rambled along as things come to mind. Will just mention again, the little box and picture sent by friend Pippey, also a letter which he will mail in B. thought he should leave Washington in four or five days. The things (box) will be left at Foster’s store directed to you. of no particular value, only the associations and I took pains to keep them sometime in my knapsack. Little L. will think of them sometime. It is hard to keep or send anything home, except specimens of the foliage here.
I hope to get another mail soon. Your back letter is yet due—mittens letters from Abbie, and the Register all behind. Shall write Frank and Will soon.
And now dear friends—Father, Mother, Bros & sisters—I must close. Before you receive this, Thanksgiving will pass. How much I shall think of you on Thursday! May it bring with it something of the olden time. I love to dwell upon it. Chairs may be vacant but the hearts best offerings are yet left and may they speak much, and often, of the blessed past, and trust in a still better future.
Remembrances to all inquiring friends. Write often. Direct as usual. As I am every your most

I enclose some curious leaves. Do we have such. It is quite a tree and bears red berries, and looks beautiful. Wish I could send you a branch. Gathered in the woods nearby. The grass I got at Warrenton.

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Jerome Peirce 1862, From Jerome to Allie and Lulu, November 24, 1862, HIST 428 (Spring 2020), University of Mary Washington


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